Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Where Food Comes From: Child Labor in the Early 20th Century

Boys Working in a Sardine Factory.

One of my favorite websites to read is from the publishers of the magazine Mental Floss. In the last few days they posted an excellent article by Jill Harness entitled, The Depressing Stories Behind 20 Vintage Child Labor Pictures.

The haunting photographs of children working in the early 1900s, some as young as 5 years old, provides a glimpse into food production for the era. Some foods were made available and presumably cheaper on the backs of child workers. Photos show children picking cranberries, peeling shrimp and shucking oysters. Obviously children worked on family farms but they also hired out for work to help supplement the family income.